by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Furthermore, he is a young man in form; at the recent Liebherr 2017 World Championships in Düsseldorf, he beat Romania’s Adrian Crisan, now 37 years old, one of the more experienced on the international scene.
The win underlines the fact Kanak Jha is now able to compete at a very high level; in Düsseldorf he proved a point. Now, in Buenos Aires, if there was one player who has a point to prove, it is the host nation’s Francisco Sanchi, the no.2 seed in the Junior Boys’ Singles event.
On three occasions this year, he has reached the final and has been denied. Recently at the Spanish Junior and Cadet Open in May, he was beaten in the title decider by the Russian defender Artur Abusev, having earlier in the year suffered the same fate in Paraguay at the ITTF World Junior Circuit tournament and at the South American Junior and Cadet Open.
Now on home soil, he has the opportunity to avenge the latter two decisions. Both Brazil’s Carlos Ishida and Chile’s Nicolas Burgos, the respective victors over Francisco Sanchi appear on the Buenos Aires entry list. Carlos Ishida is the no.7 seed, Nicolas Burgos is the no.8 seed. A debt to settle for Francisco Sanchi and also for Carlos Ishida; he suffered defeat at the hands of the Chilean at the semi-final stage of the Junior Boys’ Singles event at South American Junior and Cadet Championships.
Also from Brazil Siddharta Almeida, the no.5 seed, may have his sights set on Francisco Sanchi; he was beaten by the Argentine at the semi-final stage of the Paraguay Junior and Cadet, one round later at the South American Junior and Cadet Championships.
Most certainly for Francisco Sanchi and his South American colleagues, it has been a busy time and successful; especially for Nicolas Burgos who emerged successful at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games Latin American Continental Qualification tournament in the Dominican Republic.
Conversely, for the United States dup of Victor Liu, Sharon Alguetti; the players next in the order of merit behind Francisco Sanchi, the United States Open last December is the most recent occasion when they have gained results of note.
An event won by Kanak Jha, Victor Liu was a Junior Boys’ Singles semi-finalist; Sharon Alguetti secured the Cadet Boys’ Singles title.
Meanwhile, for the one further notable name in the United States contingent, Jack Wang, the no.6 seed, last December he progressed through the qualification stage to reach the first round of the Boys’ Singles event at the Sun International 2016 World Junior Championships in Cape Town. Progress was ended by Korea’s Cho Daeseong.
A total of 54 players will compete in the Junior Boys’ Singles event in Buenos Aires.